M+B is pleased to present Psychonaut, an exhibition and installation by artist Lisa Eisner. Eisner who is best known for her photographic explorations of the American West (publications include Shriners and Rodeo Girl) has turned her eye to nature with Psychonaut, an amalgam of the past four years of her work. In the artist’s words it is as if she “threw the photos in the air and cut them all up as they were falling down”. Psychonaut is a kaleidoscopic adventure into a vibrant world of seeming randomness, a collection of one-of-a-kind assemblages without editions and without using Photoshop that is her most personal work to date. The exhibition opens May 1, 2010 and will run through June 5, 2010, with an opening reception for the artist on Saturday, May 1 from 6 – 8 pm.
Taking the title from the Greek word meaning literally, “a sailor of the mind/soul,” Psychonaut explores the journey of a spiritual seeker who uses altered states of consciousness to address spiritual questions in a modern way, without the use of psilocybin.
Eisner draws inspiration from the kindred spirit of Buckminster Fuller and his geodesic domes, Native American culture, geometry, nature, birds, and a homegrown spirituality. Her method is to, “accidentally discover what isn’t an accident” by working hands-on with the images. She is informed by the colors and textures of the photos rather than the themes and composition, and allows the process to guide the series. What emerges is a handcrafted, three-dimensional psychedelic explosion that is alternately bright and soothing, meditative and disorienting. Psychonaut does not explain but self-propagates the creative source from where it came. Eisner collaborated with Matt Monroe on the dome structure for Psychonaut and with Haley Alexander van Oosten/L’Oeil du Vert on the scent sculptures.
Lisa Eisner, an avowed psychonaut of the California-by-way-of-Wyoming variety, is a photojournalist, fashion editor and co-founder of Greybull Press. She is a frequent contributor to Vanity Fair, W Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Paris Vogue, GQ, and The New York Times Magazine. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband Eric and their two sons Charlie and Louie. This is her second solo exhibition with M+B.